HOUSTON – The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by one this week to 463.
A year ago, 874 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 374 rigs sought oil and 86 explored for natural gas this week. Three were listed as miscellaneous.
Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana and New Mexico each gained two, while Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania were up one apiece.
Texas declined by three, Alaska and West Virginia by two each and Utah by one.
Arkansas, California, Kansas, North Dakota and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May at 404.